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Star Wars: Jedi Volume 1 – The Dark Side: Advance TPB Review


Star Wars JediI was never really one to get too much into the Star Wars comics, which is strange considering my obsession with both ¨The Wars¨ and comic books. You’d think it would be a natural fit, right? They just never really grabbed me like I’d hope they would. But, in an age of prequels and Old Republic, the universe has grown immensely, and the comic books have been exploring these times in the Star Wars universe. Say what you will about The Phantom Menace, but don’t tell me Qui-Gon Jinn wasn’t awesome. He and Darth Maul are what made that movie for me, and I had always wanted to know more about this mysterious Jedi.


Lucky for me, Star Wars comics and novels have fleshed out characters like Qui-Gon who, like many characters in the movies, are gone before we’ve even gotten a chance to meet them. The first volume of this series, Star Wars: Jedi, focuses on a time in Qui-Gon’s life before Obi-Wan was his Padawan. Here we see Xanatos, a young boy who Qui-Gon has taken under his wing. From the start, we can see Xanatos has some anger issues, which is nice to see being played against Jinn who always seems more cool and collected. Xanatos is coming closer to Jedi Knight status, and while he’s anxious to take the trials, there is a part of him that’s not ready to loose Qui-Gon as his master. This becomes more evident when the Jedi are sent to Xanatos’ home world of Telos to investigate a murder. The Council sees this as an opportunity to test his emotions since Xanatos has “daddy issues,” as his father handed him off to the Jedi at a young age to begin training.

This I found interesting, as it was talked about in the prequels, but they never really dove too deep into the seriousness of training the Jedi young. The younger they are, the less likely they are able to form attachments with loved ones. The driving force of Anakin’s downfall was the death of his mother, and here young Xanatos, even though he’s become a Jedi of all things, still harbors resentment towards his father for giving him up. 

To add more to his rage, another young Padawan, a female Twi’lek named Orykan, is suffering from the loss of her own master, and the Council doesn’t know where to place her. Qui-Gon would be the most fitting teacher, but he already has a Padawan. Yoda insists Orykan join him, Xanatos, and Jedi Master Tahl on their trip to Telos. Tensions rise a bit as Xanatos overhears Tahl suggesting Jinn take on Orykan as his apprentice. This distrust Xanatos is forming leads him closer and closer into the arms of his father. As more is revealed about their mission, it seems more likely that this wasn’t simply a Jedi test for Xanatos’ emotions, but, in reality, something Qui-Gon himself must face.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the book, they are solving a murder case after all, but I found it refreshing to see Qui-Gon in his earlier years. He still seemed like the calm Jedi I remember from Phantom Menace, but we also see hints of anger. Reaching through the Force, he senses a presence at the murder scene that he can’t quite place. It feels “Jedi-like” but it isn’t. The frustration he’s feeling creeps up from time to time, leading to facial expression drawn on Qui-Gon I’d never thought I would see before. I feel I should also note the hints of a possible love interest between him and Master Tahl. While they don’t openly flirt, these two seem to have a past of some sort. I could be reading too much into it, but it’s nice to think a serious Jedi like Qui-Gon liked to have a bit of fun in his day.
I found this to be an interesting read having not picked up a Star Wars comic in over a decade, and as a stand alone volume, I was satisfied with the story, having no previous knowledge of these characters except for Qui-Gon. If Xanatos was an established character in the comics before this book came out, then this volume definitely piqued my interest into looking more into him. I will be anxious to see what’s in store for Volume 2 in the Jedi series.


Sean Foster, Fanbase Press Graphic Designer



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